Opening tomorrow at the Deakin University Art Gallery is the exhibition Garbage and the flowers by acclaimed artist Sarah Goffman who has recently relocated to Melbourne. Consisting of hundreds of hand-painted and recycled PET bottles and packaging this exhibition showcases Goffman’s interest in recreating museum artefacts with plastic waste to question ideas around consumerism, value, sustainability and impermanence.
Deakin Curator James Lynch is thrilled to publicise this exhibition which is the artist’s first major institutional exhibition in Melbourne after her recent exhibition Applied Arts at the Chau Chak Wing Museum at the University of Sydney last year and after participating in numerous major national survey and group exhibitions.
Goffman has a long and extensive record of exhibitions across Australia spanning back nearly thirty years. Since that time Goffman has been a high-profile participant of the contemporary art scene in Sydney. In 2017 she was one of just two artists commissioned to make a major new work for the ground-breaking survey exhibition Unfinished Business: New Perspectives on art and Feminism at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne.
For over a decade Goffman has been recreating antique ceramic and porcelain pottery and artefacts using found plastic waste. Her first pieces referenced the blue and white Willow pattern as part of a large exhibition at the former Mori Gallery Sydney in 2005. This exhibition brings together hundreds of small works made since, grouped together and referencing various Ming, Qing, Islamic patterning, Medici porcelain from Italy, Dutch Delftware and English Chinoiserie. These are presented on tables and displayed in glass and Perspex vitrines that recall ceramic cabinets from museums around the world.
Goffman explores orientalism and chinoiserie as western constructions of aestheticism, design and decoration based on myths and mistruths. Collecting plastic waste and garbage on her daily walks she painstakingly cleans and paints onto plastic surfaces. Using the histories of ceramic design and decoration to mimic, copy and transform, Goffman recreates objects of desire from the refuse of consumer culture, creating complex artistic artefacts for our time.
Interviews with the artist and curator available by request.
WHAT: Sarah Goffman Garbage and the Flowers. Free entry.
WHEN: Tuesday to Friday 24 May to 8 July 2022.
WHERE: Deakin University Art Gallery, Building FA, Melbourne Burwood Campus, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood. Gallery hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.